Statuesque: Redmayne Now a Best Actor Frontrunner

While there were no huge surprises in the movie categories at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards this past Sunday night, one thing became clear as the evening came to a close: Eddie Redmayne is now the clear frontrunner for a Best Actor Oscar.

Redmayne and Michael Keaton each took home Best Actor trophies at the recent Golden Globes. Redmayne won in the Drama category for ‘The Theory of Everything‘, while Keaton took the top Comedy prize for ‘Birdman‘. (I could probably write a whole blog post about how ‘Birdman’ really doesn’t fit into that genre.) Both actors are quite good in their respective roles, and both have received Best Actor Academy Award nominations, but Keaton has been considered the frontrunner up until now, mostly because of his body of work over the years.

Michael Keaton didn’t go home empty handed, however. ‘Birdman’ won the top prize of the night, the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Since ‘Boyhood‘ was (and still is) considered the frontrunner for a Best Picture Oscar, many pundits have suggested that ‘Birdman’ now has a shot for that award as well. Not really. Keep in mind that the SAG award is geared solely towards the performances of the actors. With three Oscar nominees in the cast (compared to just two in ‘Boyhood’), it’s not really hard to figure out why ‘Birdman’ took this award.

It’s also important to remember that only members of the Screen Actors Guild vote for the SAGs, while the major categories at the Academy Awards are voted by actors, producers, directors and other members of the movie industry. For that reason, ‘Boyhood’ remains the frontrunner for Best Picture and, even though I think Redmayne now has better odds, why Keaton still has a shot at a Best Actor trophy.

The rest of the evening pretty much went as expected. Julianne Moore has all but assured her first-ever Best Actress Oscar by picking up a SAG for ‘Still Alice’. J.K. Simmons (‘Whiplash‘) and Patricia Arquette (‘Boyhood’) solidified their chances for Oscar gold by taking home SAGs in the supporting actor categories.

A complete list of the winners, including those for television, can be found on the Screen Actors Guild Awards web site.

What is your opinion on the Redmayne/Keaton showdown? Who do you think will win the Oscar for Best Actor?


  1. Chris B

    Not to mention voters tend to love a performance that involves an actor
    portraying someone with a disability. i.e Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump, Daniel-Day-Lewis in My Left Foot or Jodie Foster in Nell. Then again, maybe voters will figure Redmayne is awfully young to pick up such a big prize and will probably have more opportunities in the future, as opposed to Keaton who may not have that many chances left. It’s a tough call, but I think Keaton will end up taking it.

    • C.C. 95

      Very correct. I forgot about the ‘going-full retard’ joke/truth/factor. I’m pulling for Keaton- his performance was a huge high-wire act that he made look easy. Both Redmayne and Julianne Moore were in (sorry, but it’s true) dressed-up Lifetime movies.
      Unfortunately, the ‘disease movie’ performance often prevails.

  2. itjustWoRX

    I’ve been sour ever since Mickey Rourke was denied Best Actor, while the academy saw fit to give Sean Penn (a guy they don’t particularly care for) his second Oscar in a decade.

    I’ll be pulling for Michael Keaton, but I don’t put much weight into any of these pat-on-the-back awards shows.

  3. Chapz Kilud

    I said it in the post when nominees were revealed, that I think Redmayne will win. I think this is his only chance to win because if you put him in different roles it may not be Oscar-worthy. What he did with Hawkins was something that was very difficult to pull off.

    I’d have prefer Rosemund Pike winning, but I definitely didn’t have issue with Julianne Moore. Same goes with Michael Keaton. He would have won in the last few years. It’s bad luck he was pitted against Redmayne this year.

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